I remember a drawing in a school book

a woman lying beneath a tree

belly up.

Above her another woman heaved

on a branch, up and down

her bare feet part of the labour –

that’s what my mother did to me.


She jumped

arms full of doctors and advisors,

cold noses and steel fingers and

It’s for the best  needles

they prized

the child out of me.


Is a womb half-empty

or half-full

and who is in control?

Mother, father or God?


This continuing flow of life

and death drowns us all

gives us a place in the matrix

that sets our status

weighs us down

or inflates lean shoulders.


Help is always within our grasp

but we might never see it

for what it is.


The End

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